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2021 GEMs: Pray for a spiritual sense of oneness to welcome your best year yet!
insights from Cobbey Crisler, Ken Cooper & others from the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

for January 3, 2021

GEM#1: To still seeming divisiveness, PRAY for our divine sense of ONENESS to increase!
As we eagerly launch into 2021, it’s very fitting & needed that the Golden Text kicks-off our new Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson with what Jesus was trained to pray to begin each day (and what all Jews still are supposed to pray to begin as well as end each day). Jews call this key prayer of theirs the “Shema” – the Hebrew word for “Hear”— because Deuteronomy 6:4 starts with that word.

4 Hear, O Israel: “The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Golden Text
[The rest of the Shema prayer… ] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9, (NIV), verses 5-9 after the Golden Text

Please note how constantly throughout each day (as yellow-highlighted above) Jews are supposed to prayerfully affirm the supremacy of God’s oneness and commandments to rule over all!

The significance for us of this key prayer of oneness is that it leads into a Bible Lesson in which the word “one” in used 60 times while alerting us of the importance of oneness as a healing keynote to focus on throughout each day. This will be especially helpful in the coming days, weeks & months of America’s pivotal runoff elections & government transition.

As Christie Hanzlik, CS, points out in the opening paragraph of her CedarS Met for this week’s Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson: “It is tempting to see a world consisting of millions of human opinions, warring media reports, racial strife, class warfare, tribalism, gender inequity, political personalities, family disagreements and even conflicts within ourselves. The singular answer to this seeming divisiveness is the oneness of Truth, the oneness of good, the oneness of God. God is indivisible. And therefore we, as the outcome of God, are also indivisible.

Verse 3 of Christian Science Hymn 157 calls for us to make daily progress in demonstrating unity:Day by day the understanding / Of our oneness shall increase.” This prayer request to God for oneness comes from no other than Jesus in the final hours he allows himself to be captured for crucifixion, when he prayed for his disciples and us that we may feel at one with God and with one another! (John 17:11, 21, 22)

Christian Science Hymn 157
“Jesus' prayer for all his brethren: / Father, that they may be one, / Echoes down through all the ages, / Nor prayed he for these alone / But for all, that through all time / God's will be done.

One the Mind and Life of all things, / For we live in God alone; / One the Love whose ever-presence / Blesses all and injures none. / Safe within this Love we find all / being one.

Day by day the understanding / Of our oneness shall increase, / Till among all men and nations / Warfare shall forever cease, / So God's children all shall dwell / in joy and peace.
(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 157:1–3)

GEM#2: Cherish “… his tender mercies … over all his works.” (Ps. 145:9, Responsive Reading) Enjoy a serenade of “Tender Mercies” by two Christian Science Practitioners! See and hear Craig Ghislin, CS, and David Price, CS, two of CedarS Met contributors, singing a guitar duet of “Tender Mercies” on the back porch of our new Care House where they were serving.
[Click on either:
or on the sixth of 71 short videos on CedarS website at:]
By accentuating the harmony, positivity and blessings that flow from receiving God’s “tender mercies,” we can and should eliminate the curses of strife and negativity that daily news and ads play up, especially in weeks before an election.

(Ps. 145:10) “All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee”—as two of them do in the “Tender Mercies” duet from CedarS new Care House.

Cobbey Crisler points out in the next verses that we should encourage one another to share examples of God’s power, to stop focusing thought on strife and to quit talking about illnesses (and viruses)!
Cobbey Crisler on Ps. 145:11 (verse right after Responsive Reading, Ps. 145:9,10)
“Psalm 145, Verse 11. A receptive, spiritually-educated, human race going to God with total commitment for the answer to all ills will no longer talk about illnesses. "They shall speak of the glory of God's kingdom, and talk of thy power."’
“Leaves of the Tree: Prescriptions from Psalms,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

GEM#3: "Arise, Shine” as one who serves — to God’s delight!
See the message from Isaiah 60:1 (citation B2) as embroidered on my prayer shawl from Israel. It’s a message that’s meant for you!
[See an online picture of my prayer shawl in the upper right]

From “Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.” [Isaiah 60:4]

From Christian Science Sentinel – December 28, 2020 Bible Lens on The Christian Science Bible Lesson on “God” for January 3. 2021:
“Jerusalem’s return to glory is depicted with stirring images, including the reuniting of families. … Jerusalem lies upon the central ridge of the country. From the landward side she can see caravans streaming in; from the west over the Mediterranean ships are sailing in like flocks of pigeons. Along with this vast commerce come her returning exiled children.” [The Interpreter’s Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes, Volume 6]

GEM#4: Evolution of the SECOND TENET (citation S10, SH 597:5) from The Mary Baker Eddy Library for The Betterment of Mankind

Current edition
2. We acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God. We acknowledge His Son, one Christ; the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter; and man in God’s image and likeness.

1879 “Tenets and Covenant”
2d. — We rest our hope and Faith on God, the only Life, Truth and Love, depending for salvation not on the person of God, but on the understanding of the Principle or Spirit that is God, and the demonstration of this Spirit or Principle according to those commands of our Master, “Go ye into all the world, preach the Gospel, heal the sick, and these signs shall follow them that believe” (understand). “They shall lay their hands on the sick and they shall recover.”

1887 “Tenets to be Signed by those Uniting …”
Second. — We acknowledge one Father, Son and Holy Ghost, — one God, the brotherhood of man, and Divine Science. And the forgiveness of sin, which is the destruction of sin. And the atonement of Christ, which is the efficacy of Truth and Life. And the way of salvation marked out by Jesus, which is healing the sick, casting out devils [evils], and raising the dead, — uplifting a dead faith into Life and Love.

1892 (from “Church Tenets and Rules”)
2. We acknowledge and adore one Supreme God. We acknowledge His Son, the Holy Ghost, and man in His image and likeness. We acknowledge God’s forgiveness of sin, in the destruction of sin, and His present and future punishment of “whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie.” We acknowledge the atonement of Christ, as the efficacy of Truth and Love. And the way of Salvation as demonstrated by Jesus casting out evils, healing the sick, and raising the dead, — resurrecting a dead faith to seize the great possibilities and living energies of the Divine Life.

1893 (from “Church Tenets and Rules”)
2. We acknowledge and adore one Supreme God. We acknowledge His Son, and the Holy Ghost, and man in the Divine image and likeness.

81st edition (1894)
2. We acknowledge and adore one Supreme God. We acknowledge His Son, and the Holy Ghost, and man as the Divine image and likeness.

179th edition (1900)
2. We acknowledge and adore one Supreme Infinite God. We acknowledge one Christ, the Holy Ghost, and man as the Divine image and likeness.

214th edition (1901)
2. We acknowledge and adore one Supreme Infinite God. We acknowledge one Christ namely the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter — and the son Christ Jesus – man in the divine image and likeness.

249th edition (1902)
2. We acknowledge and adore one Supreme Infinite God. We acknowledge one Christ, His son, the Holy Ghost or Comforter, — and man in the divine image and likeness.

252nd edition (1902)
2. We acknowledge and adore one Supreme and Infinite God; — acknowledge one Christ — His Son Christ Jesus; the Holy Ghost or the divine Comforter; and man His divine image and likeness.

1907 edition
2. We acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God. We acknowledge His Son, one Christ; the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter; and man in God’s image and likeness.”

GEM#5: Stop sitting around your pool of Bethesda waiting for something to happen! Do you want to “sin no more?” Tune-in so nothing obstructs your at-one-ment with God.
Cobbey Crisler on John 5:2-20 (cit. B19):
“John 5:2 We’re now at the famous incident at the “Pool of Bethesda”. Near what serves as an occasional sheep market today, there is still a pool that has been excavated, that has archeological remnants that suggest the five porches. There is apparently, if this is the correct location of the pools, a structure that had two pools, each with two porches. Down the middle was a fifth porch with pools on either side. It may have been the ancient equivalent of a hospital.
John 5:4 There’s some indication that it might have at some point in its history a spot that might have been associated with Aesculapius, the pagan founder of medicine, and that this superstition may have gotten to the point “that those who stepped into the pool when the water was troubled would be instantly healed.”
John 5:3 At least “an awful lot of people were waiting around for that event,” so the news must have spread that this occurred.
John 5:5 Here we run into a man that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. “He’d been there for thirty-eight years.” I’m sure that many of us would feel for him. We all have been sitting around our own pool of Bethesda waiting for something to happen, something miraculous, something fateful. We have all waited for something unexpected from the outside to lift us out of a condition that we haven’t made too much of an effort to do anything about.
There was an environment there that did not help the problem. As a matter of fact, here’s how Professor Dodd describes it. I like this:
‘There is another story about a man who had given way to a chronic disability, and for years had nursed a grievance which excused him from doing anything about it.’
John 5:7. “Someone else always gets in before me.” If that sounds like a familiar excuse, then Bethesda isn’t so far back in history. So he translates Jesus’ statements this way. Do you want to recover? That pinpoints it, doesn’t it? Do you see how that translation exhibits Jesus dealing with the thought of the patient? Where must it happen?
If communication from God to man must work, where must we work? In the thought of the receiver. Do we want to recover? That almost sounds silly to people who have been in a longtime condition, but it may very well be the core of the issue. Do we really want to be healed? Or have we become so settled into our condition that for thirty eight years, we just sit there with our friends and talk about our operations? Misery loving company is a quality that attaches itself to human nature.
John 5: 6. Here’s how Dodd again translates Jesus’ question and then his demand on the patient. “Do you want to recover?”
John 5:8, “Then, pick up your bed and walk.” Jesus wasn’t about to volunteer to pick up his bed for him.
That says a lot. How else do we know Jesus, but to study his thoughts, his words, his methods, his messages, his intent, the logos, not but the word, but the thought behind it? What is required for the healing of a paralytic condition that has lasted practically a generation? It’s the very thing that he thought he couldn’t do, to pick up his bed and walk. Do you want to be healed? ‘Let there be light!’ (Genesis 1:3) That’s permission. Let it in.
John 5:9, “Immediately the man was made whole.” We don’t have any sense that there was a convalescence period. “He took up his bed and walked.”

Notice in John 5:13 Jesus is saying: “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more.” This was another aspect to healing before it was complete, dealing with the thought of the patient. Jesus often views himself in the role of physician. Remember, he said, “A man that is whole needs not a physician” (Matthew 9:12; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:31). “Sin no more” was something which that man had to comprehend in thought to avoid a recurrence.

Notice the priority with what he dealt with the patient’s thought. “Do you want to recover?” OK great, we’ve got something we can work with.

Do you really want to?

Do you want to give up this 38-year record of horizontalism?

We have an even longer record of that. Stop and think how the “bed” dominates our lives, especially after a long day. All the way from birth to death, in sickness and in sleep. There is so much happening and looming so large in this concept of bed, that when Jesus healed the man, he made him take up what had dominated him for thirty-eight years. He said, “You dominate that bed and get out of here!” Jesus spoke with some degree of authority. And that’s just what happened.

Jesus responds to the debate on the Sabbath (verse 16) with a brilliant exegesis of the seven days of creation.
In John 5:17, “Jesus said, you’re stopping me for healing on the Sabbath day. But my reading of the Scripture is this, My Father worketh hitherto and I work.” If the original works, what can the image or reflection do?

Notice also John 5:19 is Jesus’ famous statement, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.” Taking this apart, it really gives you what man’s role is. What is it? It’s reflection. It’s image.
Man is not original in what he does. What he does stems from the original which is God. Then it reflects originality. Otherwise there would be competition for the job of Creator. Under monotheism there is no possibility for such competition (“For what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”)
He took the Son of Man through every problem that the world could hurl at him and proved that even the Son of Man can be victorious and not a creature of circumstances when the understanding of his true nature as the Son of God can be applied.
Our understanding of the Son of Man and the Son of God, and the difference, might be heightened by realizing that the Christ comes to the Son of Man. The Christ doesn’t come to the Son of God because the Christ really presents the Son of God.
We’re on the human side of things, who feel the foot of domination on our necks from outside circumstances. Is that where the Son of Man belongs? Notice the argument of Bildad in the book of Job… It uses the very same phrase that Jesus does, elevating him way above the outlines of fleshly domination. So, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.” Why?

John 5:20, “The Father loves the Son.”
John 5:30. The same point is repeated, “I can of mine own self do nothing.” Is this false humility or is Jesus actually giving us the facts straight out? What is the secret and source of everything he thought or did? What is the obstacle then between us and following Jesus? There’s something in there. Some kind of different concept of our selfhood than what he had. His was so transparent that there was nothing obstructing his at-one-ment with God, even on earth. His summons to us is to follow his example and shows his own expectation that we’re equipped to do it. So, we’re equipped to receive and to act on the instructions given us via communication. All we need to do is tune-in.
We’re coming to understand Jesus’ view of himself, and where he thinks this authority originates, “The Son of Man can do nothing of himself. (John 5:19)]

“John, the Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler**

GEM#6: Let your thought and life SING with Living in Oneness with God!
Cobbey on “I and my Father are one.” John 10:30 (SH 315:3, citation S21)

“In John 10:30 is Jesus’ great statement, “I and my Father are one.” If this is from the Aramaic, then, the Aramaic word would give the meaning, “I and my Father are in accord.”
“Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple,” B. Cobbey Crisler**

Feel the power and love of oneness with God! That was the open secret to Jesus' victory over the cross and the grave (and to our victory over the pandemic and its effects)! It is inspiringly shared in “I and my Father are one” & Science & Health, p. 26:12 (cit. S22). The following YouTube offering was written and sung by Cherie Brennan, a CedarS mom and award-winning Country Music artist at Enjoy!

Another Christian Scientist, Mindy Jostyn, once performed at CedarS the beautiful song that she also titled “I and my Father are one.” You can LISTEN TO A SAMPLE of it and BUY IT and the SHEET MUSIC for SOLOISTS at:

GEM#7: Hear on YouTube a Ken Cooper poem and monologue customized for this week’s Bible Lesson. This week’s audio links to YouTube are called:
“I have set before thee an open door”
“Wilt thou be made whole?”

[Ken wrote:] God does not measure time, because the everlasting is always in the now of Being, the “I AM THAT I AM” that expresses the infinity of good through man. This ever-presence of good is the Truth that annihilates all sense of false history, for there has never been anything less than the now of perfection. The spiritual kingdom of God is the only kingdom: it is God’s awareness of Him/Herself, of each of the seven synonyms, Life, Truth, Love, Soul, Spirit, Mind, Principle.

“The poem “I have set before thee an open door” is the recognition of the immediacy of heaven , – a step / thought away. No matter where we are, the repentant thought that looks Godward finds God, finds Love, for that is all that can be found. No matter what the claims of mortal mind, – they are all only emptiness and vacuity. Spirit can never be bounded or tarnished by matter. When we step into the open door of Love, love is all we find, for we fully reflect all that we are. We shine with the all the synonyms of God, in perfect unity.

“The man that was held by his belief of disease for 38 years was asked the simple question “Wilt thou be made whole?” His immediate answer showed his reliance on mortality, the material picture. Sometimes we may be a-feared of change, and find comfort in blaming external circumstances. How prepared are we to step away from the false sense of past into the new sense of present perfection, what we truly are? Our next step decides the direction we take, but does not change what we truly are. In the monologue we see the joy of recognition “Behold thou art made whole”, – the simple truth of all being. This is all that Jesus ever saw, and all that can be seen by infinite Mind. Knowing ourselves as reflection, our steps are already ordered. God does not need to change direction, nor does His reflection. They are always one.”

The related PDFs of Ken’s Lesson-customized offerings are attached to CedarS online version as upper right Downloads.

** Bible Talks by Cobbey Crisler:

Both audio recordings and transcripts of Cobbey Crisler’s popular Bible talks are now available from the Crisler Library at Oxford. You can contact the library at or contact Janet Crisler directly at

GEM#8: Listen to Jill Gooding’s inspiration about “Adorable One” (cit. S32, 16:26-29) in her 2005 Christian Science Sentinel article called, “The Prayer which covers all human need,” “… which instantaneously heals the sick.” (SH p. 16:10…23)

And, here’s the first paragraph of an article "ADORABLE ONE" by ROBERT C. BRYANT, M.A.

From the April 1915 issue of The Christian Science Journal

“THE second declaration in the Lord's Prayer is, "Hallowed be thy name," and its spiritual interpretation, as given by Mrs. Eddy in Science and Health (p.16) is, "Adorable One." In these two words there is expressed the sum and substance of Christian Science. The wisdom of our Leader in the use of this expression is profound, for to understand these two words is to know God, the truth that makes free. It is to have dominion and power, to be able to heal the sick, and to find the kingdom of God with all that is added to it…”

Click here to view the rest of the article:

JSH-Online is the official website of The Christian Science Journal, Sentinel, and Herald.

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